Book Review: Hungarian Armored Forces of World War II

A video book review of Hungarian Armored Forces in World War II (Photosniper) by Peter Mujzer, published by Kagero as part of their Photosniper series.

Video Book Review: Tanks of the USSR and International Tank Development

In this video we review two books by Alexander Ludeke, International Tank Development From 1970 (Fact File) and Tanks of the USSR 1917-1945 (Fact File).

From the Vault: British Report on Panzer II

We recently received images of a document by the British Department of Tank Design from early 1943 showing the results of tests they performed on a captured German Panzer II.  The goal of the tests were to obtain information on the reliability and performance of the German tank, which was captured in Libya.  The report notes that the tank had been put through a good bit of use before being captured, with the odometer showing over 7000 miles.  Despite the condition of the vehicle, the report notes that “the machine behaved extremely well and little serious mechanical trouble was experienced.”  This is an eleven page document, the individual pages can be viewed in the image gallery below.

 

Book Alert: German Heavy Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War: From Tiger to E-100

Fonthill Media has released a new title by author Ken Estes titled German Heavy Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War: From Tiger to E-100.  This is a 180 page softcover book.

Publisher’s Description:

The German army faced tanks of superior size, armor and firepower from the outset of World War II. Although their Panzerwaffen handled the Polish campaign, war with France meant confronting superior heavy and medium tanks like the Char B and Somua, with 47 mm high velocity cannon that penetrated German tank armor with ease. French infantry disposed of effective antitank weapons and a portion of their 75 mm field guns were detailed as antitank guns. Even greater challenges emerged with the Russo-German War, for the Germans had no initial answer to the KV-1 heavy tank and T-34 medium.

The successive technical shocks of superior tanks introduced by each side produced a gun-armor race that continued in some manner even after the war’s end. The Germans placed a premium on technological quality and superiority over mass production, for which their industry (and, arguably, their regime) remained rather unsuited. Not satisfied with the advantage they obtained with the Tiger and Panther series tanks, the army leadership and Adolf Hitler himself pushed for larger and more powerful tanks than had ever been built.

Available from Amazon here.

Tank design: two overlooked aspects

The youtube channel Lindybeige has posted a video of its host discussing tank design with Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran.

Video: NMAW Open House

Last September we went to the open house event for the NMAW at the Tank Farm in Nokesville Virginia.  We shot some video at the event and have edited it into something that we hope is relatively watchable.  This video will give people an idea of what to expect if they decide to attend this event the next time it happens.

AFV News from Around the Web

Here is an assortment of recent news articles on armored vehices. Click on the headline to go to the complete piece.

 

BBC – The Salvagers who raise World War Two tanks from the dead

p060mznwWhen the German army attacked the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, tanks were a crucial factor in their initial success. German tanks roared across the Soviet border giving the enemy no time to recover.  As the Soviets reeled under the surprise attack, the most powerful German formations swept through what is now Belarus. Huge battles were fought, leaving the land strewn with dead bodies and ruined machines.

 

Task & Purpose – Why Tanks Need 4 Crew Members, Not 3

86167374Having spent a lot of time on tanks, I would argue that pursuing technical solutions that don’t account for the human dimension of sustained ground combat is a mistake. The four-soldier crew gives flexibility that three cannot.  Pulling local security is a real requirement inside a tactical assembly area. Doing so while maintaining weapons, conducting maintenance, eating, and getting some sleep is already tough. When in radio listening silence you need a runner, and during tactical road marches you need an air guard.

 

Defense News – Singapore denies acquisition of new Leopard tank variant

AR3Q7KAIQBC75EY2VJEKXT6KCAMELBOURNE, Australia ― Singapore is denying it took delivery of Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks from Germany, contradicting a report by a Swedish nongovernmental organization.  A spokesperson from Singapore’s Ministry of Defence told Defense News that “no other variants of the Leopard has been acquired” since the country ordered Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany in 2006.

 

KyivPost – UkrOboronProm finishes producing Oplot tanks for Thailand

DSC8767-800x520After missing several deadlines over the past few years, Ukraine’s state-run defense production concern UkrOboronProm will now finally complete its long-standing contract to supply its advanced Oplot-T battle tanks to Thailand.  In a March 26 press statement, the concern’s director general, Pavlo Bukin, asserted that a final batch of six modern Ukrainian-made armored vehicles had already been produced and successfully tested in the presence of the ordering party.

 

Sofrep News – China testing plan to turn thousands of outdated tanks into drone warfighters

rotype59-1521654192-905x483As a part of China’s People’s Liberation Army’s continued modernization efforts, China is now experimenting with converting outdated tank platforms into unmanned combat drones.  Footage released to the public last Wednesday on state-owned television shows a Type 59 Chinese tank being maneuvered via remote control, using a steering wheel and dual screened console to manage the tasks of tank operation. Although the video does not say, it seems likely that the two screens represent a navigational view of the front of the tank and a bore-sight view for targeting the tanks main weapons system, a 100mm gun.

 

War is Boring – Imagine 1940s French Tanks With Soviet-era Howitzers

AMX-13_with_D30-970x350France built the 14.5-ton AMX-13 tank in the 1940s as a combat vehicle light enough to be air-transportable to support paratroopers. France produced and exported thousands of them, which saw action in several Cold War conflicts. They’re still in service in a handful of countries, mostly in South America.  The antiquated tanks could still see service for awhile longer. Reports suggest Peru is looking at converting 30 to 40 of its AMX-13s into self-propelled howitzers by swapping out their turrets for Soviet-era 122-millimeter D-30 howitzers.

 

Egypt Independent – Russian T-90S/SK tanks to be assembled in Egypt soon: Russia Today

1200px-2013_Moscow_Victory_Day_Parade_28Russian heavy off-road truck manufacturer Ural Automotive Plan has announced plans to establish a local company in Egypt to assemble 400 Russian battle tanks of the T-90S/SK model, according to state-funded Russian news outlet Russia Today.  The project depends on whether the mother company in Russia will issue an official authorization for the assemblage in Egypt.

 

IHS Jane’s – Netherlands transfers last Leopard 2s to Finland

The Netherlands will transfer the last of 100 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Finland in 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said on its website.  The ministry reported that it began transferring 20 Leopard 2A6s to Finland on 21 March.  The Netherlands decided in 2011 to phase out main battle tanks, and Finland bought its 100 Leopards 2A6s in 2014.